Continuous environmental improvement of the Packaging Supply Chain in Europe: corporate initiatives/commitments of EUROPEN members

29 January 2018

In view of the publication of the EU Plastics Strategy and the European Commission’s launch of the voluntary pledging exercise, EUROPEN members have published their corporate voluntary commitments (living document). EUROPEN is an EU packaging supply chain organization that represents an important and significant part of the value chain needed to achieve the EU’s Circular Economy Package (CEP)’s objectives.  We support the CEP policy objectives and constructively and actively contribute to the legislative proposals related to CEP. EUROPEN offers a balanced supply chain perspective to how the EU’s Plastics Strategy can complement the ongoing legislative CEP proposals, while at all times ensuring the safeguard of the EU’s Internal Market principle. EUROPEN represents the plastics packaging supply chain, but also the supply chains for metal, glass and paper/board packaging. In this material neutral context, we provide broad policy recommendations for the EU Plastics Strategy, also ensuring a level playing field for all competing packaging materials.

Because of the wider, multi-material/sectoral membership of EUROPEN, its members have compiled existing/current corporate commitments beyond recycled content, including recyclability, resource efficiency/packaging optimisation and material sourcing. Environmental hotspots/impacts and related possible improvements vary according to e.g. supply chain stage, sector (e.g. food/non-food), material, national waste management infrastructure, technologies, supply/demand

For this reason, EUROPEN advises against mandatory recycled content requirements, which would be an anti-competitive requirement as it cannot be applied across the board and is not in line with life-cycle based policy-making.